MINDFULNESS AND EMOTION REGULATION IN DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY: COMMON AND DISTINCT MECHANISMS OF ACTION

Authors


Correspondence to: Alethea Desrosiers, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, 389 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511. E-mail: alethea.desrosiers@yale.edu

Abstract

Background

The current study seeks to investigate the mechanisms through which mindfulness is related to mental health in a clinical sample of adults by examining (1) whether specific cognitive emotion regulation strategies (rumination, reappraisal, worry, and nonacceptance) mediate associations between mindfulness and depression and anxiety, respectively, and (2) whether these emotion regulation strategies operate uniquely or transdiagnostically in relation to depression and anxiety.

Methods

Participants were 187 adults seeking treatment at a mood and anxiety disorders clinic in Connecticut. Participants completed a battery of self-report measures that included assessments of depression and anxiety (Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire), and emotion regulation (Ruminative Response Scale, Penn State Worry Questionnaire, Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale).

Results

Simple mediation analyses indicated that rumination and worry significantly mediated associations between mindfulness and anxiety symptoms, whereas rumination and reappraisal significantly mediated associations between mindfulness and depressive symptoms. Multiple mediation analyses showed that worry significantly mediated associations between mindfulness and anxiety symptoms and rumination and reappraisal significantly mediated associations between mindfulness and depressive symptoms.

Conclusions

Findings suggest that mindfulness operates through distinct and common mechanisms depending on clinical context.

Ancillary